West Australians joined tributes across the country yesterday for ‘Wear Orange Wednesday’, recognising the volunteers of the State Emergency Service.
The event, affectionately known WOW Day, asks people to wear orange to represent the orange uniform warn by SES volunteers.
The WA state government did its part by turning Perth’s most iconic landmarks orange including Elizabeth Quay and the Matagarup bridge.
SES Volunteers Association of WA vice president Phil Bresser says WOW day helps recognise the achievements of volunteers over the last 12 months.
“I think it’s really good to see the community getting behind the volunteers and supporting them as they do in times of need” Mr Bresser says.
He says despite COVID-19 restrictions, people “got out there and did what they could, and it was pretty well supported.”
The SESVA WA was formed in 1959 and currently has over 2,000 volunteer workers spanning from the Kimberley to the Great Southern.
SESVA WA’s Kimberley representative Leah O’Neill says the day is important for reminding the public of their service, but believes that more can be done.
“People weren’t necessarily aware of who they were supposed to call so part of it is trying to keep us in the media and keep that profile up all year around as opposed to perhaps just on that one day of the year,” Ms O’Neill says.
She suggests adopting a similar approach to the ambulance service by conducting school visits, but admits it would be difficult for them as volunteers.
“It’s something that we could do as a unit ourselves but it’s a bit difficult given that people are working during that day.”
WOW Day 2020 is part of Volunteering Australia‘s National Volunteers Week which runs from May 18 – May 24.
You can see how Australians paid tribute to their SES volunteers by following #thankyouses on social media.